Stu­dent ar­rested for shoot­ing

Great Mills HS placed on lock­down due to ru­mors; sus­pect, 17, ap­pre­hended in Charles

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By JAC­QUI ATKIELSKI jatkiel­[email protected]­news.com

A Great Mills High School stu­dent was ar­rested Wed­nes­day af­ter al­legedly shoot­ing a man Tues­day evening in the Hick­ory Hills neigh­bor­hood.

Due to re­ports that Eli­jah Miguel Miles, 17, of Cal­i­for­nia may have been near the school, the build­ing was placed on lock­down Wed­nes­day morn­ing while law en­force­ment swept the build­ing and area. He was later lo­cated and ar­rested in Charles County.

Miles was not seen in or around the school build­ing, said Su­per­in­ten­dent Scott Smith in a phone-out record­ing to par­ents Wed­nes­day.

Miles was re­port­edly in­volved in a shoot­ing the night be­fore in the Hick­ory Hills neigh­bor­hood off of Chan­cel­lor’s Run Road, where one male was flown out to an area shock trauma hospi­tal.

Dur­ing the school lock­down Wed­nes­day, mem­bers of the St. Mary’s sher­iff’s of­fice SWAT team went through the build­ing, class- room by class­room, as stu­dents re­mained in place. No­body was in­jured, school of­fi­cials said.

Miles was lo­cated and ar­rested in Charles later Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon. In St. Mary’s, Miles is fac­ing charges of at­tempted first-de­gree mur­der, first-de­gree as­sault and pos­ses­sion of a firearm used in com­mis­sion of a felony, ac­cord­ing to the St. Mary’s sher­iff’s

of­fice.

Cpl. Julie Yin­gling, sher­iff’s of­fice pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, said dur­ing a phone call Thurs­day morn­ing that sev­eral stu­dents went to their school re­source of­fi­cer and re­ported the pos­si­bil­ity of Miles be­ing in or around the build­ing.

Yin­gling said Miles “was ar­rested on our charges only.”

Snow flur­ries fell briefly that morn­ing as par­ents and com­mu­nity mem­bers gath­ered at the East Run Cen­ter, a MedS­tar St. Mary’s Hospi­tal satel­lite med­i­cal fa­cil­ity on Great Mills Road across from the high school, and nearby at the Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice lodge on Chan­cel­lor’s Run Road.

The high school, where a shoot­ing oc­curred on March 20 that re­sulted in the deaths of two teens and an in­jury to an­other, was dis­missed early at 12:45 p.m. af­ter the SWAT unit swept the build­ing in search of Miles.

Yin­gling said dur­ing a phone call Wed­nes­day morn­ing that there were ru­mors that Miles was in the area with a weapon and “with an over­abun­dance of cau­tion” school staff placed the school on lock­down. She said deputies didn’t know what kind of weapon Miles may have been car­ry­ing.

“There’s no con­fir­ma­tion of see­ing the sus­pect” at the high school, she said later.

Sgt. David Alexan­der, who was posted at the FOP build­ing, said to par­ents that deputies were “tak­ing every pre­cau­tion” to ad­dress the ru­mors.

Ivan Baker of Great Mills said his daugh­ter, a Great Mills fresh­man, “was not in a great state of mind” about the lock­down. He said he ap­pre­ci­ated that the sher­iff’s of­fice was “al­ready on top of it.”

Anissa Davis of Lex­ing­ton Park said she ap­pre­ci­ated the sher­iff’s of­fice keep­ing the com­mu­nity “up­dated in real time.” She said her daugh­ter, a se­nior, was “shaken” and “hav­ing flash­backs” to the March 20 shoot­ing.

An­other par­ent, Shel­ley Hall of Lex­ing­ton Park, said her daugh­ter, a sopho­more, texted her to let her know about the lock­down. Hall said her daugh­ter said while mes­sag­ing that “the teacher bar­ri­caded the door with desks.”

“She’ll be stressed af­ter this,” the mother said.

Mean­while, Don­nett Gross of Lex­ing­ton Park said late Wed­nes­day morn­ing that her son, a se­nior, had called her. “I was lis­ten­ing for his breath­ing pat­tern,” she said, adding that he had re­ported he and his class­mates “were calm” dur­ing the lock­down.

Smith said the lock­down was a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure to al­low law en­force­ment to ac­tively search the area “while keep­ing stu­dents, staff and [our] com­mu­nity safe.”

“We know hear­ing that a school has been placed in lock­down is fright­en­ing,” Smith said, adding that “our first pri­or­ity is keep­ing our stu­dents and staff safe.”

No one, other than law en­force­ment, is al­lowed to en­ter or leave a school build­ing in lock­down.

Smith said deputies “found no threat on the premises nor in the vicin­ity of” the high school.

“We are most safe when we see some­thing, say some­thing and act,” he said. Call­ing the com­mu­nity strong, the su­per­in­ten­dent said that “strength comes from our con­nec­tions to each other, our car­ing for one an­other and our com­mit­ment to our kids.”

He said the lock­down may have “brought back trauma” re­sult­ing from the March 20 shoot­ing. Coun­sel­ing and other ser­vices are made avail­able to stu­dents and staff at schools when needed, he said.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAC­QUI ATKIELSKI

St. Mary’s sher­iff’s of­fice deputies stand Wed­nes­day at the main en­trance to Great Mills High School to block traf­fic dur­ing a lock­down.

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